Baby born with parasitic ‘headless’ twin attached to its back

In India, doctors recently operated on a baby that had an undeveloped twin stuck to its back.

On 25 August, a woman was taken aback after she gave birth to a baby that had two extra hands, legs, and a whole back attached to its body. Upon seeing the unusual mass on her child’s back, she and her family rushed to the hospital to have the newborn inspected.

Turns out that the baby had actually been in the womb with a parasitic twin.

What is a parasitic twin?

According to The Embryo Project Encyclopedia, when one twin stops developing during gestation and becomes, not only non-functional, but also completely dependent on the other fully formed twin, the foetus is then known as a parasitic twin.

When this happens the dominant baby is then born, in some cases, with extra limbs, organs, and even sexual genitalia.

In this specific case, the parasitic baby had developed a back, legs, and hands, but didn't have a head.

Professor J D Rawat, one of the medical specialists who oversaw the case, told Times of India:

A woman in Sitapur had given birth to a child having a mass, legs, and hands attached to its back. The family got worried over the abnormal growth and rushed the newborn to the local hospital from which they were referred to KGMU.
The MRI showed that the mass was an abortive twin attached to the child's back over the lumbar spine and spinal cord.

Successful operation

On November 3, doctors from King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow India, were able to successfully detach the parasitic twin from the baby, despite the fact that the twins had ‘interconnected nerves.’ Rawat added:

The child was successfully freed from the burden of the mass growing on its back and is doing well.
This woman's foetus was pregnant with her own twin brother This woman's foetus was pregnant with her own twin brother